It's a good thing Obama isn't running for office again: the president, who has been known to be Spock-like and nerd-courting, just lost the support of both Star Wars and Star Trek fans. Well, except maybe J.J. Abrams.
In his sequester press conference today, the president made a joke about using a "Jedi mind meld." He said: "Even though most people agree that I'm being reasonable; that most people agree I'm presenting a fair deal; the fact they don't take it means I should somehow do a Jedi mind meld with these folks and convince them to do what's right."
But a "Jedi mind meld" is not a thing that exists. There are Jedi mind tricks from Star Wars, and Vulcan mind melds from Star Trek. People from both the entertainment and political worlds were quick to correct—and make jokes about—the president:
Correction, Mr. President, it's Vulcan Mind Meld, not Jedi Mind Meld #sequester— Ed Schultz (@edshow) March 1, 2013
Jedi mind TRICK, not meld. Impeach this clown.— daveweigel (@daveweigel) March 1, 2013
Obama lost the Star Wars vote with that "Jedi Mind meld" gaffe.— The Fix (@TheFix) March 1, 2013
Obama concludes press conference: "Live long, prosper, and may the force be with you." #jedimindmeld— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) March 1, 2013
Even Damon Lindelof, one of the writers of the upcoming Star Trek sequel, weighed in:
Obama just said "Jedi Mindmeld."That sound you heard was Picard face-palming.— Damon Lindelof (@DamonLindelof) March 1, 2013
But perhaps the President just knows something we don't:
OK. Not a single darn one of you knows that there *isn't* a Jedi Mind-Meld. Obama may know THINGS.— Daniel Fienberg (@HitFixDaniel) March 1, 2013
Plenty of pundits have been suggesting the Jedi mind trick, but maybe, since J.J. Abrams is now attached as director to both franchise, Obama knows something we don't know about a dreaded crossover movie. Please, Mr. President, don't let that happen.
Update: Garance Franke-Ruta points out that, yes, such a thing as a "Jedi meld" or "Force meld" does actually exist in Star Wars lore. That means that either Obama is actually a nerd hero, or he still got things a little confused. Though, Franke-Ruta adds on Twitter:
I am reliably informed that even though a Jedi Mind Meld appears in the Wookiepedia, it is not considered "canon."— Garance Franke-Ruta (@thegarance) March 1, 2013
Update 2: The Obama administration is milking the gaffe for all it's worth, releasing the following on Twitter. (Note the use of both Star Trek and Wars fonts.)